(0088-02) 9123108

History of Khulna Diocese

The Diocese of Khulna was canonically erected on Jan. 3 rd 1952 as the Diocese of Jessore, with parts taken from the Archdiocese of Calcutta and the Diocese of Krishnagar, both in India. In this region the Foreign Missionaries of Milan (PIME) had begun their apostolate in 1855. Actually in 1856, Fr. Antonio Marietti, PIME, arrived in Jessore. From 1927 to 1952, the Salesian Missionaries worked in this territory. However, Satkhira Parish was under the Jesuits from Calcutta during 1918 - 1952.

On June 14, 1956 the Episcopal See was transferred from Jessore to the larger city of Khulna and since then this has been called the Diocese of Khulna. The newly created Diocese was entrusted to the St. Francis Xavier Foreign Mission Society (SX), popularly known as the "Xaverian Fathers".

Of special historical interest is Iswaripur, which is fifty miles south of Satkhira town. At this place was located the first ever Christian Church structure, dedicated by the Jesuits on January 1, 1600 under the title of "The Church of the Holy name of Jesus"; nothing of this Church remains now. There was no other Christian Church in the area comprising the present Khulna Diocese until the arrival of the PIME Missionaries in 1856. Then the first Church was at Jessore (1856). Other early Churches are those at Shimulia (1859), Bhabarpara (1866), Malgazi of Shelabunia Parish (1870) and Khulna City (1873).